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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

SOUTHERN    FRANCE    AGAIN
day alone.   On the following Saturday the Countess
said,cc The motor will come round to-morrow morn-
ing and we will have lunch at Moulins.   There is a
fine cathedral and a museum and the food and
wine are very cheap and good in the town."   As we
left Vichy I noticed that  the whole population
seemed to be leaving also.   The Countess then ex-
plained that as the clinics were shut on Saturdays
and the patients were free to do as they liked,
feeling very hungry and well, they took any kind of
conveyance to the  country, where they ate and
drank to their heart's content.   We visited, first the
cathedral, which has a very fine picture in it, and
then the  museum  and  afterwards a little hotel,
where we had a magnificent dinner and very good
wine.    I think the whole bill came only to fifty
francs.    We stayed at Vichy for a week and then
started for the South.
It was a most interesting voyage for me, as the
Countess had studied architecture at the Sorbonne
and knew a great deal about French history and
painting. We spent the night at St. Nectaire in
Auvergne; there is a most beautiful twelfth-century
church, where, inside, the pillars are painted and
in a state of almost perfect preservation; also a
twelfth-century statue of Saint Baudime. He is a
most beautiful and rather terrifying figure and had
had an adventurous career, having been stolen
several times from his safe by robbers. We had
lunch at le Puy, which is a most strange place.
There are volcanic rocks, which are very high and
steep, sticking out of the town; on these rocks are
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